Blog, Lifestyle

What Moving To Bristol During COVID Taught Me

Today marks 1 month since I officially moved to Bristol. I originally imagined it would be filled with adventures to every corner of the city, evenings meeting new people at the pub, and weekend adventures to the beach. The lockdown after New Year’s made sure none of that played out.

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Blog, Photography

The Spider Plant Saga

There are times when I think I am living in a body of the wrong age. I love going to bed and waking up early, reading (I checked out 18 books from the library to get me through COVID lockdown), and, aside from many bookshelves, would love for my home to be filled with a slightly excessive amount of plants. In particular, small plants like succulents, because they are both beautiful and hard to kill.

With my arguable elderly vision of a house, I set off in search of some plants. Despite my 83-year-old desires, my 23-year-old abilities seamlessly navigated me through Facebook Marketplace (what a magical tool!) to an adorable set of Spider Plants 2.4 miles away.

Based on photos from the advertisements, my new roommates were a good, healthy size. Probably big enough that I recruited my mom to come along on the arduous trek with me. If worst came to worst, we would just give in and take a bus home.

Before we could even contemplate our return trip, we had to survive 2.4 miles. I know, I know, it’s really not that big of a deal. We thought that, too. At first.

It started off pleasantly enough with a stroll through the park. Children swirling around on the playground after finishing Friday at school, dogs chasing balls convinced that it will disappear if they don’t follow fast enough, and couples meandering hand in hand. This was my kind of afternoon walk!

It wasn’t until leaving the safe haven of the park that we realized the impending doom of our walk: a ‘hill’ that must be the spitting image of the base of Mount Everest. Steep, long, and unforgiving. Meanwhile, my mom and I are short with little legs and 85% of our physical makeup is chocolate. I’d say that’s about an even match, right?

The only thought that kept me going was picking up my new Spider Plants. I would display them in my house like a badge of honor or trophy, the plants emitting all of the oxygen I was currently struggling to get into my lungs.

As a gift to ourselves, my sister and I invested in a personal trainer at the gym. We wanted to get healthy, fit, and strong. Two or three days a week we would meet with our trainer and sweat enough to recreate our own Dead Sea. We were convinced our progress (and muscles) were big! This ‘hill’ certainly told us otherwise.

By the time we reached the top, I had shed my coat, despite the November chill. Boy, was I getting a refund. Luckily, the top of the hill lead to another park, where my mom and I ogled at cute dogs and their owners might have been concerned that their dogs could be smarter than us. Yes, if you speak to a dog in a high-pitched baby voice, they really can understand you.

We picked up the pace as the sun started to slip behind the trees. The fact that it was almost dark at 4:30, and the days are only getting shorter, is unfathomable to me. I belong with the sun and sand.

By this point, though, we were almost there. Just to climb and overpass, turn left onto the next lane, and we were there. Our trek and sweat would be worth it for the luscious Spider Plants.

House by house, counting down the numbers, we came to the front porch step where the plants were supposed to be. As I double checked the area, a rogue squeak of laughter escaped from Mom’s throat. I looked at her eyes, now welling with comedic tears, then back to the porch step.

Instead of my radiant plants that would be so large we’d prefer to take the bus home, there were two sprouts of grass in petite plastic containers. I could hold them both in one hand. The big bag we brought certainly wasn’t needed, nor the bus.

2.4 miles up Mount Everest and this is what we came for. Tragic at first, I was soon doubled over cackling like a Hyena and crying a river. My Spider Plants were probably the size of actual spiders.

My ever-so-slightly-smaller-than-expected spider plants

We quickly scuttled down the road so as not to disturb the neighbors – we clearly weren’t from around here – and packed our pride into the tiny pots as well.

After we finally regained a reasonable amount of composure, Mom looked over at me and said, “At least the walk home is all downhill from here.”

Travel

A Summer Weekend in Cornwall

I never thought that England could be a place for water activities, but boy was I wrong. With a wetsuit handy, or some courage of steel, Cornwall has loads to offer.

This past weekend was spent surfing, paddleboarding, and camping. Not to mention, eating of course! Two days isn’t nearly enough to see everything that Cornwall has to offer, but here is a quick peak of a few highlighted places.

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alleyway in bristol at night
Blog

6 Nights in Bristol

I decided to call this 6 Nights in Bristol because after all of the traveling, trying to count how many full days I was there is kind of a struggle. Half a day Wednesday and half a day Tuesday, does that count as one full day or two? Should I count the minute I got to the airport in Heathrow or not until I got off the bus in Bristol?

ANYWAY, 6 nights, 7 or 8 days in Bristol, whatever you want to call it, and I still wish I had more time.

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bristol england
Blog

On Bristol, Health, and Travel

I’ve come to realize that I have a love-hate relationship with Bristol. I love her, but she hates me. Sam tells me that Bristol hates everyone, so at least she doesn’t discriminate.

It all started well enough. Wednesday we went out for sports night which was a doozy, with lots of dancing and happy-blurry memories. Unfortunately, I soon came to realize that my left ear still hadn’t relieved itself of the intense pressure from being on the plane. What started out as a dull ache on Wednesday had become both painful and deafening by Friday. Since then I haven’t heard a single thing out of my left ear. 

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standing at a doorway in bristol
Uncategorized

…And so It Begins, Bristol

After an hour’s drive to the airport, a seven hour flight, and a three hour bus ride, I finally made it to Bristol! Needless to say, I’m very happy to be taking up the English way of walking everywhere because I think I’ve forgotten how to use my legs after so much sitting.

Sammy has an extensive week meticulously planned out for me, so I needed all of the extra sleep I could get on the bus and plane. Today, frisbee practice right off the bus. It became clear very quickly that I have no hand-eye coordination and should stick to soccer. As for tonight, a warm homemade dinner from Sainsbury’s before Sam shows me how the frisbee team does a night out. 

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packed suitcase with passport
Blog

How to Pack for England in November

After my slow and grueling countdown, it’s almost here! In less than 48 hours I’ll be on my way across the Atlantic Ocean and heading back to my second home, England. The days have felt like weeks and the weeks have felt like months, but it’s finally here and knocking on the door.

You would think that with all of this excitement building up I would’ve had my bags packed weeks ago. As a college student, I can tell you that is certainly not the case. Procrastination is a lifestyle. But we college students thrive under pressure.

So, how the heck am I supposed to know what to wear when the weather is unpredictably wet and simultaneously chilly? The key here for my fellow travellers is just one very important tip: pack light. Not only because it means you’ll have more room to bring chocolate and other goodies back, but I’ve realized that you can get whatever you’re missing when you land. And England is home to the cousin of the thrift store: charity shops. Charity shops carry all kinds of spunky, cool clothes for a bargain of a price. Plus, like the name implies, the money goes towards charity. It’s a win-win all around, so go ahead and splurge!

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Traveler packing his suitcase before leaving
Blog

Counting Down the Days until England

Just a quick life update! In less than three weeks, I’ll be flying out to visit my sister in Bristol, England. Since Sam began college there two years ago, she’s been pestering me to stay with her almost every day since. She’s told me over and over, “Once you see what life is like here, you’ll never want to go home.”

I finally gave in, not that I was hard to convince. After a few crazy weeks of midterms, and the extreme struggle of booking with Air India, these next few weeks are going to creep by painfully and slowly. I’m more than ready to head back to my second home, the beautiful country where my parents grew up. I know I should be excited to see the lush green country side, but I really can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to the chocolate. I may gain a good five pounds before my return, and even that’s on the low side.

For now, I’ll be daydreaming in class and counting down the days until November 20 is here.